There was a fair amount of chatter about the future of Icap (soon to become ‘Nex’) at the recent Profit & Loss Forex Network Chicago conference, with much of it centering around likely purchasers of the company once it sells its global wholesale broking and information business (IGBB) to Tullett Prebon.
“The other broader question hanging around the firm as it transitions into Nex is whether [CEO Michael] Spencer is priming the new entity for a sale,” Profit & Loss noted in an article published prior to the conference last month.
It seems that many of the attendees of Forex Network Chicago had, in their own minds at least, decided that the answer to this question was that the firm is indeed up for sale. The speculation then turned to who would be interested and able to buy the firm.
Carlo Koelzer, CEO of 360T Group and global head of FX at Deutsche Börse Group, talks to Galen Stops about the importance of building critical mass amidst the changing landscape of the FX market.
Galen Stops: It’s now about one year on from Deutsche Börse’s acquisition of 360T. Can you shed some light about why you agreed to the deal?
Carlo Koelzer: Prior to this deal we were a big trading platform in the market, but a small organisation in comparison to our competitors. When you look at the larger platforms in the market they’re backed by firms like Icap, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and State Street, all of whom had larger balance sheets than us.
360T Group has appointed Simon Jones for a newly created role – chief growth officer – and made him a member of 360T’s global executive board.
He will be based in London and reports directly to Carlo Kölzer, founder and CEO of 360T Group.
Prior to this latest role, Jones most recently ran the e-FX consultancy firm, PierrepointFX, which he founded in 2014 and focused on helping banks, brokers and funds optimise their e-FX solutions. Before that he was a managing partner at MakoFX until it was sold to Xenfin Group.
Six years after launching CME Clearing Europe and three years after launching CME Europe, the Chicago-based exchange group has announced that it will shut both operations at the end of this year. Although the move was something of a surprise, Galen Stops discovers there are some compelling reasons why the initiative failed. He asks what went wrong and what does this move mean for CME's remaining European operations as well as the ongoing efforts by its competitors to get a European FX derivatives business off the ground?
The Regulatory Reporting Hub of Deutsche Börse Group has launched a partnership with Risk Focus and its software subsidiary, RegTek.Solutions, to help with its OTC trade reporting.
Risk Focus will provide key system components for OTC trade reporting solution, including interpretation of instrument details of OTC derivatives submitted in FpML or XML format, as well as a rules engine for applying the regulatory validations, eligibility checks and deferrals.
“In the dynamic environment with frequent updates of regulatory details, the approach using a rules engine has already proven to be very useful. OTC trade reporting is one of the backbones of Mifid II, which is going to be effective as of January 2018.
Deutsche Börse has further built out its OTC FX business with the announcement that its 360T unit, which is responsible for foreign exchange at the firm, has agreed to acquire the GTX ECN business from Gain Capital for $100 million – the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018. The exchange group says, to reflect the importance of the GTX brand and its place in the 360T product suite, the company will be renamed to 360TGTX.
I’ve spent too much time for anyone’s good on US legal and regulatory matters recently so, apart from saying that having listened to the oral arguments for Mark Johnson’s bail case I am much more optimistic about his appeal – the government’s case does appear to be at best careless, at worst misleading – I want to get into a regular staple of this column, the rumour mill!
It is inevitable when a deal gets done in the platform world, especially when it involves an exchange, that we inevitably look for the next deal.
Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services and the exchange group’s FX trading venue 360T are launching a product offering covering FX spot market as well as FX swap market data. The swap market information is based on a contribution model of liquidity providers developed in cooperation with the Germany-based company Digitec. The Market Data + Services group will act as licensor of the new offering and the data is available via the data feed of Deutsche Börse as well as via 360T’s streaming FIX API as “Swap Data Feed” SDF.
Many FX participants are already reviewing their FX operating model, building support for FX clearing and Futures in addition to their OTC FX.
This is not in the belief that the entire FX market will move to a cleared model, but it is evident that pioneering firms are already staking their claim as well as exploiting the values that hybrid OTC and Cleared products can bring; blurring the historic lines that have previously separated bilateral FX models, PB’d access to markets, OTC clearing, and FX Futures
In this week’s podcast, Colin Lambert and Galen Stops take a look at the first in-depth analysis from a broker of the CME-NEX deal and while they accept that much of what was written was already known and had been discussed there were a few nuggets of useful information in there.
On the subject of mergers and acquisitions, they also discuss the recent changes at Refinitiv and clarify their thoughts on potential M&A activity involving that firm’s Matching, Dealing and FXall businesses. Will firms be willing to splash the amount of cash required to complete such a deal? Who would be the best buyers for the combined business or elements thereof? This and more is discussed.
In a quite remarkable conclusion, they close out by expressing sympathy for a regulator – something unlikely to ever happen again – before Lambert offers listeners the benefit(?) of his experience of trading Cable with a trading recommendation as the Brexit saga continues…what could go wrong?
In a rumbustious podcast this week Galen Stops relates how he took on the Twitter world following a tweet that was clearly misunderstood (he says) and he and Colin Lambert get into a debate over the value of speed bumps in futures markets. One group, as Stops observes, is very unhappy about it, but Lambert points out there is another – rather influential – group, that really like the idea.
Our two podcasters also follow up on a recently published story by Profit & Loss about the potential buyers of Refinitiv as well as take a look at a recent blog post on aggregation in FX which inevitably leads to a question from Stops to Lambert, ‘what do you consider full amount trading?’ Luckily for everyone, the latter keeps his answer reasonably (to him) short – even delving into the depths of his own trading career for an analogy.
Speaking of delving the depths, the podcast closes out by fulfilling its promise of the previous week through delivering “considered analysis” of a recent rival podcast which took a look at the events surrounding the death of crypto exchange Quadriga’s CEO. There are those that think, as Stops notes in this podcast, that the FX industry likes a good gossip and wild speculation, but his report on the investigation into Quadriga leaves FX standing well in the shade…